Sunday, 29 July 2012

Letter of the Week - M

 Another week another letter!

This week we have been doing M, I chose this letter as we had a trip already planned for this week (see later on!) that fitted perfectly.

We began with our letter M, it gets hung up in our living room and referred to all week, and created a Mountain M complete with cotton wool snow on the top. I googled some images of mountains and Aidan came up with the bluey colours based on these images.


Adding the snow

This was followed by making a things beginning with M poster where Aidan sticks pictures I have already cut out of magazines in anyway he wishes to make a pretty poster. I like to try and do this as much as possible as I think it gives him a real concept of how the letter fits into life.

On Wednesday I made a Sensory play activity for Aidan using cheap rice I had dyed to be colourful and pretty! It was so easy to do, just add rice to a tub a few squirts of alcohol hand gel a few drops of the food colouring and shake! Once you are happy with the colour, just add more colouring until you are, leave it to dry in a cooling oven or in a sunny place. In this batch I added Glitter and its not something I will repeat!! Whilst it looked lovely the glitter made it really difficult to clean up at the end, even though I had placed a plastic mat down to catch the worst the glitter seemed to have drifted but the rice itself was simple to sweep up.

In the tray I placed some metal objects such as a spoon, keys, a car, coins as well as some non metallic ones like a leaf, rubber letters, fir cone. I then gave Aidan a magnet and we spent time seeing which were magnetic and which were not, I also had him turn his back and shut his eyes whilst I hid a metal object in the rice and he had to locate it just with the magnet.  Once this was finished I let him just play with it! Spooning it into a tub, pushing it, piling it up, pushing the car through it.

Of course it wasn't long before Feet played a part in the play too!

He played for such a long time with this activity, I was so surprised, and I will definitely be repeating similar in a few weeks time.

We had fun playing with Moustaches on Thursday! I made some cardboard moustaches and cut them out, Aidan found it funny to model them and then look at himself in a mirror, we then played a matching game with them.

Music was also represented on Thursday when we listened to LOTS of different types of music. I asked Aidan to dance in the way the music made him feel and guided him to it being fast or slow, happy or sad sounding etc. Now when I say LOTS of different music I mean LOTS! Amongst others we listened to Classical, Bangra, Irish, Pop, Rock (Daddy was thrilled to hear his Son being schooled in the ways of Motorhead!), Reggae, Salsa and I even threw a bit of censored rap in there too! I found all the music on good old youtube and just sat with lots of tabs open, once he had strutted his stuff we talked about which was his favourite and why he liked it.

On Friday I printed this wonderful Mickey Mouse Pre-School pack from 1+1=1, Mickey is VERY popular in our house so the opportunity was not to be missed. The pack includes, colouring, counting, cutting practice, tracing and others all in a fun way.

Aidan liked the tracing and I think he did really well, you can definitely tell what (most!) of the shapes are. 

I perhaps misunderstood one of the counting activities but easily made some mouse head stickers which Aidan then placed on the sheet to represent each number, eg 5 stickers in the 5 column.

We watched a few funny Magic tricks on Youtube and then made Magic Wands using rolled up card, stickers and colouring pens, Aidan liked practising his new magic words, abracadabra!!

On Saturday M was for Magic! Ages ago I booked for us to go to Birmingham to see Mickeys Magic Show, we all really enjoyed it. We kept it as a surprise for Aidan all the way there and even managed to convince him that the surprise we had driven for an hour for was actually Fish, Chips and beans in a pub! There were the usual Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald, lots of the Disney Princesses and also the Mad Hatter, the characters were helped by 2 "REAL" magicians. Our favourite trick was when they sawed 2 ladies, one in red one in blue,  in half and put them back together with different legs on! There was also levitating and several others that left Chris and I wondering how it was done, let alone Aidan! No photography was allowed in the show so just click on the link and enjoy the video :-)

Waiting for the Magic to begin!

I couldn't do M week without some Monsters being involved! So we created crafty Monsters on Sunday and then watched Monster Inc together.

We ate:

We watched:
Monsters Inc
Curious George (well he's a Monkey!)

Other Activity's I had planned but didn't get round to:
Make Musical Instruments
Make a Medal (might do this during Olympics)
Visit a Maze
Sort Large and Small Marshmallows
Look at the Moon each night, observing colour and shape
Measure Things
Use a Magnifying glass
Make a Monkey Mask

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Letter of the week - E

Our little Alphabet tour stopped at  E this week at the request (who knows why???) of Aidan. I like that he is excited about doing a letter though and that he shows interest in whats next.

So as always first project was the actual letter we are doing, I try to make it something represented by that letter so this week we had eyes. Now normal Mums probably would have bought the eyes on a sticker roll, but NO not this thrifty Mummy! I spent one evening drawing, colouring and then cutting out each eye on blank stickers!

A great resource I have found is the TES a quick search and I discovered lots of activities relating to Elmer the Elephant including a brief powerpoint of the story and a counting sheet for Elmer's coloured patches. We read the book and then did some of these activities, the book also gave us the opportunity to talk about everybody being different and how it was cool that we are! 

Another good site I have found is Magic Town which has livebooks, stories with animation and also games that you can play like matching and jigsaws. It's free to register and this gives you access to 6 Live books, of course for a fee you can get lots more, but we were happy to discover Elmer was included in the free ones!

Aidan's Elmer made from tissue paper and some VERY basic drawing by me!

 I've been reading a lot lately about Sensory play and have got some fab ideas for the Letter of the week, all the sites I have used for ideas are listed here. I got out the Playdoh and Aidan spent ages squishing it and moulding it, we chatted about how it felt soft, cold when it came out of tub, warm once it had been played with.

 Using cookie cutters we made Es, and also moulded some "freestyle" ones along with some dubious looking elephants!
Dubious looking Elephant, one of many!

Look Mummy an Elephant trunk!

I think by the cheesy grin we can gather he enjoyed his playdoh time :-)
 As we finally had some dry Weather here we made our way out into the garden and played a simple game I found on a great website called The Imagination Tree. I chalked letters that I knew Aidan would recognise onto our patio, (28 week pregnant Mummy got to sit down for this one!) and I then shouted letters out that he had to jump to.

Excuse the shadow!

To mix it up a bit I also shouted out words that began with the letter eg "egg" and he had to find the letter it started with, I then also did it with the letter sounds.

Mid air!

 After we had played like this for a while he grabbed a piece of chalk and began tracing over the letters I had made, I would love to say I thought this up and prompted him but nope he did it himself! Again I find it wonderful that he pushes himself to do new things and gets excited when he achieves them.

Mine is the blue, his is the pink and I think he did a great job.

I was keen to get in some maths type activities and came up with a simple sorting exercise using googly craft eyes! I put lots into a bowl and asked Aidan to sort large and small into 2 seperate pots.

After this we did some pattern and sequencing work, I started a pattern and he finished it then we swapped over and would you believe it silly Mummy couldn't always do it and needed help ;-)

This was followed by a little bit of Eye measuring, counting the differences between small eyes and large eyes.

Last craft we did was to make an Elephant visor, as with the Tiger we did I got it in a kit from Baker Ross. Aidan manages to do all but the very fiddly bits and is always pleased with his results!

Look at the concentration

Modelling his Visor!

Activities I had planned but we didn't get round to:
Decorate and post envelopes
Make a papier mache Earth
Paint Eggs
Make some funny Ears
Look at how an engine works
Make and Eye patch like a pirate

We watched:
We read:
Elmer the Elephant by David McKee
Elmer and Butterfly by David McKee

Next is letter M!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

A, B, Cs useful resources

Whilst I am focussing each week on one specific letter with Aidan I am also concious that we look at the Alphabet as a whole too. In this post I thought I would list some of the useful resources I have found, so I can find them easily and also to enable anyone else doing similar to make use of them too. I will update regularly as I find new sites and to make life easier I will divide them into Games, Printables and Ideas.

As I have said before money is always tight in our household so all the resources are FREE, some require you to sign up to the website to enable the download but I have not received any increase in spam emails since joining them. All you are going to need is a computer/ laptop (which presumably you have anyway if you are reading this!) and also a printer.

Here we go then:



TONNES of prinatble packs with lots of themes -


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Letter of the week - J

Letter of the week actually turned into letter of the Fortnight this week as I had been feeling a little under the weather and not managed to organise myself ready for the next letter!

 This is my favourite letter we have made so far, I love the Jungle theme and think its great that Aidan got so creative with the materials he was given. I gave him a cardboard cut out J, some Jungle animal stickers, a few leaves and also grasses drawn onto sticky paper and he created this. Look how he has made the animals peek out from behind the grasses like they are hiding :-)

J was also for Jellyfish, we made this cute looking one from a Paper plate, glue and also some strips of tissue paper. Before we created we watched a video on youtube called Jellyfish rock so Aidan could understand what type of creatures they are, he liked their bright colours and the way they moved.
Now I am not going to lie to you J was not the easiest letter to do so clutching at straws a little we baked some J shaped biscuits, I know, I know! I figured any activity that got him thinking about the letter and way it looked had to be a good thing and the fact he got to eat them made them a popular choice! I've now purchased a full Alphabet set of cookie cutters to be used for biscuits or playdoh.


Whilst waiting for the biscuits to cook we tasted different Juice, my camera was flat so no pictures but I lay out tropical, apple and orange fruit Juice and also some blackcurrant cordial and we sat and sipped and discussed. 


The Summer here so far has been awful with constant rain so many days are being spent inside. On a rare dry moment we walked into Town to visit the Library and luckily they had Jack and Jill and also Jack and the beanstalk. I found that the CBeebies website also had a version of Jack and the beanstalk with visuals and audio so we enjoyed that too. For older children there are lots of free printables based on the story's and I will definitely be using these when Aidan is a bit older.

By far the most popular choice with Aidan was the Jelly Sensory tub I made for him. I filled a tub with foam letters and a few more solid toys and then made up 3 packets of the cheapest jelly mix I could find then popped it into the fridge to set.   


 At first he was a bit wary of it, in fact I am not sure he could believe his luck that I was going to allow him to play with something so messy!

 But he began poking it around ......

and running it through his fingers!

I encouraged him to search for different letters and to also describe the feeling of the jelly, soft, wet, cold etc

 He pulled the tub nearer for a better feel!

 "Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh its squishy Mummy!"

Next J was for Jet and again we enjoyed watching some videos on youtube, this one called dancing jet planes being the best. we also watched some of the Red Arrows at the Queens Jubilee from earlier in the year. After the videos he ran round the living room in typical little boy style with arms out pretending to be a Jet!

Other activities we did were:
Coloured in J objects printout
Traced and copied letter Js

We watched:
Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Jungle Book
Jungle Junction